Rosario Sammartino Workshop: Reenactment of Anna Halprin's BDP

Public protesting has been all over the news lately, especially in the US, but Canadians, and more specifically, Calgarians, have issues that might be worth protesting as well. 

If you’re looking to make your voice heard, why not learn by example from one of the best? Coming to Calgary on September 20th as part of this year's Nuit Blanche, Anna Halprin's colleague Rosario Sammartino, who works at the school Halprin founded, will be re-enacting the public protest designed by Anna Halprin. We will be hosting one of the free public protest workshops at Springboard’s ContainR site in Sunnyside. 

You may be scratching your head wondering how dance and protesting can possibly be related, but they’ve been paired and linked together since Halprin shook up the dance world in the 60s by combining the two, turning protesting into performance art.

Halprin has been transforming traditional dance since she started her career in the 1930s. She took the art form from the stage to the streets and focused just as much attention on creating social movements as she did on choreographing body movements. 

She and her dancers have motivated people to take action and provided many with a voice, making protests and social statements into beautiful works of art. In one of her most well-known performances, 1970’s Blank Placard Dance, Halprin and her dancers marched through the streets of San Francisco dressed in all white holding protest signs without any messages on them. “My idea was that there were so many protests going on, and this way each person watching us could imagine whatever protest slogan they wanted on the placards,” Halprin said about her inspiration for the dance in Janice Ross’ book, Anna Halprin: Experience as Dance

In addition to the workshops, Nuit Blanche Calgary is giving you the opportunity to get a taste of what it was like to be one of her dancers during her historic Blank Placard Dance. Rosario Sammartino will be re-enacting the dance at Olympic Plaza on September 20th from 7 pm – 1 am. If your lack of dance experience is giving you second thoughts about taking part, don’t worry. No dance experience is needed. 

The workshops and Blank Placard Dance are FREE, and you need to commit to them all. Please RSVP to attend the workshops.

Workshop #1

September 18th 

2PM – 5PM


1407 - 14th Ave NW

Contact: Kesha 403-284-7680

Workshop #2

September 20th

10 AM – 1 PM

Springboard’s ContainR Site in Sunnyside

1020 - 2nd Ave NW

Contact: 403-265-3230

Blank Placard Re-enactment (led by Rosario Sammartino)

September 20th 

7 PM – 1AM

Calgary Olympic Plaza and Municipal Plaza